Thanking God today because I’m alive, have an awesome relationship with God, and am at a place in my life where I can truly say I have found peace. The storms still rage on in everyday life all around me, but in the midst of it all, I am blessed to be able to enjoy the peace that only God can bring. There are so many things I can complain about, worry about, stress about, get frustrated about and even cry about…..but today I’m a peace. At peace because l know that I’m a part of God’s plan; that he destined me for a purpose; that He chose me before I was born; that He will never leave me; that He protects and watches over me; that He comforts me; that He guides me; that He listens and actually cares.
So yes, today I’m at peace, celebrating my birthday, because for 38 years my God has carried me through and loves me!
Don’t let Satan trick you into thinking that God can’t use you because of your past sins. If and when God calls you to speak, encourage, advise, write, pray, teach, act or minister in accordance to His Word – do it! Remember the great heroes of the Bible that God used in spite of their past sins:
Abraham – the liar
Moses – the murderer
Jacob – the deceiver
Rahab – the prostitute
David – the adulterer
Peter – denied knowing Christ
Paul – the persecutor
Sounds to me like we all pass the eligibility test!
One of my many pet peeves is when people say they “can’t” do something. Not because they physically can’t or because something is truly preventing them from doing so, but because they simply won’t and refuse to try.
It bothers me even more so when Christians declare they can’t do something.
Now, most people who know me will tell you that I’m a very disciplined person and that if I set my mind to something or set a goal for myself that more often than not, I will get it done. However, I will tell you that none of that comes easily or even naturally for me. All my self-discipline and self-control comes from God. And the same Spirit that lives in me, lives in every person who professes to know God as Lord and Savior – His Word tells us so.
That being said, he declares that through His Spirit, we have and can exercise self-control/discipline in any aspect of our lives. So lets stop making excuses! Excuses for not following through on that diet, not going to the gym, not cutting back on drinking or smoking, not spending time with our kids, not saving money, not sticking to our budget, not going to church, etc.
Anything in your life that is physically within in your means to do it, that you want to work on, or get better at – lets set a goal to do so. Lets ask God to help us exercise more self control and discipline by the power of His Spirit – trust me, you won’t be able to do it alone, even if you tried!
Sometimes the consequence or punishment for our sin is simply delayed blessings.
In the Bible, it took the Israelites 40 years to make what is estimated to be an 11 day trip to the Promised Land. And only because God had cursed them to “wander in the wilderness” for 40 years because of their sin.
Don’t let sinful habits/situations/people keep you from the blessings that God is literally holding out for you to take hold of……the promotion, new place, new car, answered prayer, financial blessing, breakthrough, healing, etc. Sometimes its not God holding our blessings back or him trying to teach us patience. Sometimes its us holding ourselves back, because we are allowing sin to be a barrier that is keeping us from reaching our “promised land” and we end up wandering around in the wilderness. Days, weeks, months, even years go by, when all we had to do was obey.
God doesn’t disappoint us, people and circumstances do. Then we turn around and blame God. God is the one constant in this life. His Word tells us who He is and He never once fails to be exactly who His Word says He is. Unlike God, none of us have the capacity to be perfect unfailing creatures. I’m learning to digest and embrace this fact. In doing so, I am more understanding, patient and forgiving – towards others and myself. Don’t forget, that we too have, can and will disappoint others as well.
So I’m a compulsive planner – literally. I write my grocery lists out in order of how they are located in the store (and will even adjust based on the layout of which Walmart I’m going to). I re-write my to-do lists in the order of how they should be done that day. I iron clothes for myself and my son a week prior based on events, weather, etc. I plan out my budget down to the bag of Laffy Taffy’s that I purchase every other Friday from the Dollar Store. I plan out every moment of my vacations, including tentative naps and lounge time. I plan out my Children’s Sunday School lessons, down to the amount of time I’ll allow for prayer. Yea, I know, it’s a little much lol. And God forbid, “my plan” for the day gets thwarted in any way, shape, or fashion – I’m thrown off completely! I get anxious, stressed and frustrated!
However, lately I have been learning to be more spontaneous and most of all to allow room for God’s “planning” in my life. It was in the midst of devotions one morning recently, that God spoke to me and said “you can’t plan everything, you have to leave room for me to work in your life”. Now we all know that having a plan or making plans is never a bad thing. However, what we often fail to do is to include God in our plans.
I’m planning to move to a new apartment within the next 3-6 months and that planning process has turned into me planning the next decade of my life! I didn’t just map out furniture and décor, I’ve started trying to plan where my son will play basketball or ride his bike. How much will I have free in my budget each month to save towards my next overseas vacation or cruise? What online courses should I start taking to get a better paying job to be able to move into a house 5 years from now? What part-time work can I do now for some extra cash? Should I start a fund for my future grandchildren (mind you, my only son is currently just 10 years old)? Do I want to go sky-diving for my 40th birthday (3+ years away)? Where do I want to move to once my son goes off to college? Do I still want to get that personal trainer certification?
This was all on my “things needed for the move” list! LOL
Ever since I was kid, my mind has always gone a mile a minute and I often think of what feels like thousands of things at once! I think, and think, and think and think, and then I get anxious, overwhelmed, and eventually a headache of frustration. I’m just now learning at 36 years old, that I need to do less thinking and planning and more praying and trusting in God. I keep a pocket bible and devotional handy at work, in my car, in my purse and at home so that no matter where I am, if I ever start to get an onslaught of compulsive anxious thoughts, I go straight to His Word to shift my focus and then once my mind calms down, I immediately start praying. Sometimes I’ll just keep reading a verse out loud over and over until it sinks in and resonates with my soul.
Through this, God has been teaching me, slowly but surely, to continue planning while surrendering my plans to Him for approval, change or denial based on His Will for my life. The thing is, God’s plan is always the best plan for me, even though I don’t always realize it at first. After all, God already knows our future and has already mapped out the “ultimate plan” for our lives. We just need to sit back sometimes and let that plan unfold.
I’m learning to extend more and more forgiveness to others. After all, God has forgiven me for ALL my sins. Plus I may need someone else to forgive me one day too.